From an early age, every year at school each of us would be asked to fill a shoebox for a boy or girl who was in need. It would include basic toiletries, as well as small gifts such as colouring books and pencils. This is something that as I've got older I've been keen to keep up with.
There are various different shoe box appeals available depending on who you want to help and where you would like your box to go. I thought I would share with you a few options of national appeals but I would also recommend finding out if your community is holding a local appeal.
The first one I would like to talk about is the Samaritan's Operation Christmas Child. This is very similar to what I mentioned above and the Samaritan's website has a full list of what type of items to pack and how to send it. Alternatively, you can now also build your box online, purchasing things for their online store where they will pack it and ship it straight to those who need it.
For those animal lovers Monkey World, the ape rescue centre in Dorset that is very close to my heart is also taking part in the shoebox appeal and has an extensive list of food, toys and other supplies that they desperately need to help look after as well as rescue Ape's from around the world.
The Salvation Army are running there Christmas Present Appeal again this year to ensure every child has a present this Christmas. Why not have a look on their website to find out where your nearest participating centre is.
Lastly, there is the homeless shoe box appeal, which is the appeal I am choosing to support this year. With more and more people finding themselves homeless, a lot through no fault of their own, the need is greater still. Inside this box you can put basic supplies such as toiletries, torches and warm clothing such as thick socks, scarves and gloves, all those things many of us take for granted, yet for somebody that has found themselves homeless, it is those basics that they simply cannot afford. Why not ask your local council if this appeal is running in your area and find out what you can do to help. After all, if you were to take the time and ask somebody who is homeless if they intentionally made them self homeless, you may be surprised to hear the answer is no and even more surprised to find out how they got there, and how it could have been you.
For more information on any of the appeals I have mentioned above check them out here:
Until Next Time